Sergio Ramos' Top 6 Real Madrid Moments
Sergio Ramos joined Real Madrid as a precocious teenage talent in 2005, and he has since developed into one of the best defenders in the game. Initially functioning as a right-back, the past few years have seen him cement his position as a leader in the centre of defence.
Not only is Ramos a world-class defender, he is also an attacking menace thanks to his technique and excellent aerial ability.
The Seville-born player has won it all in his nine seasons at the club, having recently added a Champions League winner's medal to his three La Liga titles and two Copa del Rey triumphs.
Here are six of Ramos' best and most memorable moments wearing the Real Madrid shirt.
6. Making His Debut as a Teenager
Ramos made his Real Madrid debut in a 2-3 defeat to Celta Vigo at the start of the 2005-06 season, coming on as a substitute for Francisco Pavon.
Ramos was only 19 years old at the time, and his €27 million signing from Sevilla made him the most expensive Spanish teenager in the game.
Although Real Madrid lost on the day, the club still earned a victory of sorts in that it handed a debut to a player who would go on to make history in the decade that followed.
5. Spanish Supercup Equaliser vs. Valencia
The 2008 Spanish Supercup final between Real Madrid and Valencia was an absolute goalfest, finishing 6-5 to Los Merengues over two legs. Valencia were ahead for much of the tie however, having won the first leg 3-2 and extending their advantage to 4-2 in the second leg.
Ruud van Nistelrooy then pulled one back for Real Madrid from the penalty spot, before Ramos bundled home the all-important equaliser to bring his team level with Valencia for the first time in the tie.
Ramos' goal swung the momentum in favour of Real Madrid, who scored twice more in the 15 minutes that followed.
4. Assisting the Goal That Won La Liga
One of Ramos' lesser-known exploits for Real Madrid is his assist that helped his team seal the 2007-08 La Liga title.
It was Matchday 35, and Real Madrid had fought back from 0-1 down against Osasuna to level matters at 1-1.
Then in the 87th minute, Ramos picked the ball up on the halfway line and strode forward with intent, exchanging a one-two with Mahamadou Diarra before deftly feeding the ball to Gonzalo Higuain to score the winner.
The goal gave Real Madrid the three points they needed to win their second consecutive La Liga title.
3. Appointment as Team Vice-Captain
Ramos' ascendancy to a vice-captaincy role at the start of the 2009-10 season cemented his status as part of the team's leadership group.
The club captain at the time was Raul, and the vice-captains were Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo.
Casillas was made captain following Raul's departure, and it appears certain that Ramos will be elevated to the captaincy if and when Casillas leaves Real Madrid.
2. Performance in Champions League Semi-Final vs. Bayern Munich
Ramos' complete performance in the 2013-14 Champions League semi-final second leg versus Bayern Munich was central to Real Madrid's stunning 4-0 victory.
Not only did he score two headers to seal the tie, he also put in a splendid defensive shift to help his team earn a clean sheet against the then-reigning champions.
What made Ramos' performance all the more special was the fact that it came against an opponent that had caused him much heartbreak in the Champions League in years past.
In the 2011-12 season semi-final, Ramos skied a crucial penalty kick as Real Madrid suffered a heartbreaking penalty shoot-out defeat. Back in 2007, he saw a fantastic stoppage-time winner ruled out for handball as Los Blancos crashed out at the Round of 16 stage at the hands of the Bavarians.
What better way to erase those traumatic memories than to put in a masterful performance against Bayern Munich on their own patch?
1. Champions League Final Equaliser
Ramos' equalising goal against Atletico Madrid in the 93rd minute of the 2014 Champions League final is a goal which no Madridista—or Rojiblanco for that matter—will ever forget.
In the dying embers of the game, with Atletico Madrid two minutes away from Champions League glory, Luka Modric took an outswinging corner kick. Ramos didn't rush towards the ball, instead smartly timing his run and hesitating for an instant to confuse his marker, before leaping to make contact.
The resulting header was simply magnificent, with the ball evading Atletico's defenders and their giant goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois on its way into the net.
It was one of the most dramatic and memorable goals in Champions League history. Once that goal was scored, the result was never really in doubt, with Atletico Madrid's players exhausted and Real Madrid well and truly in the ascendancy.
Ramos' header was the single most crucial moment in Real Madrid's conquest of La Decima, and unquestionably represents the pinnacle of his illustrious club career.